Phan Thu Trang
Landscape painting is both a fascinating and absorbing subject to many artists wanting to explore the genre in their art. The development of other forms of landscape –seascapes, cityscapes and townscapes- have produced innumerable styles and techniques.
For those who love the radiance and freshness of Vietnam and its landscapes, the work of Phan Thu Trang will correspondingly please. Trang’s naive, artistic works are characteristically Vietnamese. Making the genre of landscape her own, Trang simplifies individual elements to their bare essentials.
With a limited palette, the artist employs texture to define her subjects. Smooth areas of bright monotone contrast with the lush, painterly impasto used to define tree leaves. A vibrant vaulted canopy of trees dominates spindly trucks.
Her works establish a form of narrative with a solo female cyclist eternally peddling. The viewer neither knows from where she came, nor her destination. With her conical hat and downcast face, she seems focused and determined, struggling and cycling against the odds. As if caught up in an internal race against time, the artist ventures on through works representing various daylight hours.
Works in green and white are akin to mid morning light, while works in shades of yellow, orange and red exude the searing heat of the mid-afternoon sun in Vietnam. Born in Hanoi, like many other artists, Trang’s mind has been engraved with images of the city and the Northern villages. She brings these vivid memories of the villagers and their lives to her paintings.